Electoral politics and visions of community: Jimmy Carter, virtue, and the small town myth

Ronald Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Since the time of the nation's founding, progressive and conservative voices in America have argued over whether national or local community could best assure a virtuous citizenry. In an ideological reversal of role, Jimmy Carter in his 1976 presidential campaign invented a progressive discourse shaped by the small town myth. This essay examines the failure of the big city myth, the ideological paradox at the center of the progressive use of the small town myth, and the consequences attendant to the rhetorical connection of virtue and place.


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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